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Old 04-27-2016, 02:44 AM   #1
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Black tank and grey tank won't drain

Howdy all, we're full timing and recently moved to a 2016 Jayco North Point 377RLBH. We've only been in it about 5 weeks. Just this week I noticed that my black tank didn't drain when I pulled the valves. I think what may have happened is that when it was last drained, the valve wasn't completely closed as I noticed that while the other 2 valves close with a nice click, the black tank valve has a spongy feel to it when it closes and doesn't close completely. I'm afraid that liquid was able to drain out just leaving all the solids to form a clog. I used the black tank flush to try and push the solids through but even with the black tank valve open the tank has filled to the top so I can't flush anymore. Initially only my black tank wasn't draining but now the front grey tank is also not draining (fullish also) so I'm thinking the clog has been pushed into the main pvc pipe, past the valve, where both the tanks drain through. Is there a non-mechanical means I can use to deal with this clog? Can I just dump some drano or other liquid to get to the clog without damaging the pipes and tank? If not, what are the mechanical options? I've used a plunger on the toilet quite a bit in hopes of pushing the clog out but to no avail. It had rv tank treatment in it just 2 drains ago. I've probably only drained the tank less than a dozen times now. Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:19 AM   #2
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I think the 'drano' chem. would not be too effective , probably wouldn't migrate to where the restriction is located. I would consider a non metallic snake . Hopefully it won't be too messy.

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Old 04-27-2016, 07:14 AM   #3
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Hmm. are your tank vents unobstructed? According to your 5er's manual, vents may be on the roof or the side walls. During previous tank dumps, did the contents rush out (the legendary "wooosh" sound), or did they dribble out?

This is a new 5er, too- still under warranty?

I use a Valterra "Flush King" to back-flush my tanks regularly. It is an alternative to a snake, if you have room in the tank to add the water.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:44 PM   #4
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I doubt if a plunger will do much good in your case, there are way too many places for the air pressure to escape, if your tanks are full, you might try moving it down the road,( preferably bumpy) with the valves open and the cap securely on, could possibly get enough vibration to work things loose, just be advised to open cap and connect with caution!!
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:26 PM   #5
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Don't forget the OP said his Black tank is FULL! so he doesn't have much choice for adding water to solve the issue. I like the "go down a bumpy road" suggestion. I like lots of start stops too. If possible I would leave all valves open and let the water column pressure try to break free the blockage,, Best done when connected to a septic system .

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Old 04-27-2016, 04:37 PM   #6
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I do get the "woosh" with the grey tanks but not the black. Might I have a vent problem? Is this something that could have been missed in a PDI? I'm going to try a Flush King and see how that goes.
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:43 PM   #7
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Get you the cap that you can hook a hose up to. Back flush the valve. Won' take much, just have someone watch your toilet to make sure it doesn't over flow into your bathroom.
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:04 PM   #8
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Hate to say it, But it sounds like a problem I once ran into. The customer complained of tank not draining. I found that the factory had cut the hole in the tank to run the toilet in and had let the plastic hole cutout fall into the tank. Another time it was a cable attached to the dump valve. The screw worked loose and was not opening the valve. Do you have a direct valve or is it a remote that is cable attached. The plunger will do no good. All the pressure will go right out the top vent. A last resort is to remove the vent cover and and blow air down the vent. You MUST be very careful and not blow up the tank.
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:20 PM   #9
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Black tank and grey tank won't drain

Might try and get a "honey wagon" to come out and pump out the tank through the toilet and then open the cap over a bucket. You may be able to then "snake" the pvc drain from the outside.
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Old 04-27-2016, 07:55 PM   #10
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Good idea from Barlow46
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Old 04-28-2016, 12:42 AM   #11
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I went out and got a Valterra flush king and used it this evening. When I disconnected the sewer hose the clog was right up to the end of the drain pipe. I flushed and drained for about an hour and finally got everything running properly. An unbelievable amount of crap (pun intended) came out eventually. Hopefully we'll be able to keep on top of it from this point. The black dump valve closes completely now too. Thanks for all the help from everyone.
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Old 04-28-2016, 05:20 AM   #12
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Glad you got it fixed! I would make one other suggestion for future use. I always use extra water when flushing.... seems to help prevent clogs.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:38 AM   #13
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Ahhhhhh yes, a problem I need to correct so thanks for the reminder. I've tried about everything but believe that it is trash blocking the drain from when the 5er was built. I have a borescope camera for my laptop that I need to use to look inside.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:06 AM   #14
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Most people do not use enough water to flush. When I dump the black tank I close the valve and allow the tank to fill to about 20% before I shut off the flusher, just be sure your vent is operational and do not forget the flusher is running, otherwise you will overfill the tank.
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